Local communities have been praised by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan for the number of people who are registered as stem cell donors.
To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month, local Brendan O’Hara MP has revealed that the region is in the top 20 of the 650 constituencies across the UK for people on their register and he collected a certificate on the constituency’s behalf from the charity at a recent reception in Westminster.
This achievement is being celebrated by Anthony Nolan as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign which shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.
In Argyll and Bute, 2273 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan with 40 per cent being male, and the average age of 34. In total, more than 700,000 people in the UK are on the charity’s register
Mr O’Hara is encouraging more people, particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant.
While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate. They provide more than 50% of donations yet make up just 16% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.
Mr O’Hara said: “I am very proud that Argyll and Bute has over 2000 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life.
“I strongly hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer. The Anthony Nolan charity have asked me to pass on their sincere thanks to those who have registered particularly the 174 individuals who have joined the list in the last 12 months.”
Further information can be found at www.anthonynolan.org/communities.